9+ car hacks that will make your life easier

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For many of you, your car is an extension of your house. Maybe you have a long commute to and from work, or maybe you're constantly driving kids from one after-school activity to the next. Perhaps you take a lot of family vacations, or maybe you just love driving.
Whatever your reasons for spending time in your car, you've probably noticed that it's never quite as clean, fresh-smelling, or convenient as you'd like. You could always waste an afternoon deep-cleaning the interior or buy a whole new car. Or you could try a few of these hacks to make your driving experience a little more enjoyable.
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1. Muffin cups (h/t One Good Thing)
Cup holders tend to collect a lot of dirt, loose change, and random sticky stuff that you can no longer identify. To help keep your cup holders clean, put a silicone muffin cup in the bottom of each cup holder. These will catch anything that falls into the holder, and you can rinse them off or replace them if they get dirty or sticky.
2. Portable trash can
Few things are worse than arriving home after a family vacation and discovering that your car is filled with trash. What are your kids supposed to do, though? In the car, their options are pretty much limited to throwing trash on the floor or tossing it out the window. And you definitely don't want to deal with littering fines. To solve this problem, put a trash bag in a plastic cereal container. The lid will help keep the trash contained, and you pop it open when you need to throw something away.
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3. De-ice frozen handles (h/t South 93.5)
When it's freezing outside, you have to be careful to not break frozen door handles. Instead of pulling on them, which could cause the handles to snap off, rub hand sanitizer on the handles. It will melt through the ice quickly, allowing you to safely open your door.
4. DIY air freshener (h/t One Crazy House)
No matter what you do to prevent it, your car is going to smell a little funky every once in awhile. This is doubly true if you have kids or you carpool with others to work. But don't waste money on air freshener clips or those trees you hang from the mirror. Instead, buy a few cheap wedding favor bags, pour in a handful of Downy Unstopables, and put the bags in your car to combat bad smells.
5. Extra storage (h/t The Krazy Coupon Lady)
If you have kids, then you know the never-ending struggle of handing them things from the front seat or trying to retrieve items from the floor. This is not only a hassle, but it's also dangerous. Instead, try hanging a clear shoe organizer on the back of the seat. Now all of your kids' toys, cups, and various necessary items are within easy reach for them and for you.
6. Car kit (h/t Simply Kierste)
In your busy life, do you really have time hunt down all of the things you might need on any given day before you get in the car? Of course not! That's why you need have a car kit packed and ready to go. You can fill it with any number of items depending on the season, but Clorox wipes, toilet paper, a first aid kit, and a flashlight are all must-haves.
7. Sticky pads (h/t ebay)
Whether you have a tendency to misplace important items or you just need your phone or GPS system mounted in an easy-to-see location, sticky pads are your answer. Slap them onto your dashboard, and let them hold whatever you need to keep within sight and reach.
8. Bungee cord groceries (h/t Handyman)
How many times have you opened your trunk or the back of your car to find your groceries spilled all over the place? Next time you head out shopping, bring a bungee cord. Attach it to one end of the boot of your car, slide the handles of your grocery bags onto the cord, and then attach the cord to the other side.
9. Additional cleaning hacks (h/t Bartow Ford Buzz)
Even after you've deep cleaned your car, you might still find a few areas that need small touch ups. Before you haul out a bunch of brand-name cleaning products, check out a few quick, though somewhat unusual, cleaning tips instead.
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